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Hard Rock Hell 12 Day 2

Friday 9th November 2018

Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales

Stage 1

14:00 - 14:50 Vambo

15:10 - 16:10 Thunderstick

16:30 - 17:30 Blitzkrieg

17:50 - 18:50 Vintage Caravan

19:10 - 20:10 Dan Reed Network

20:30 - 21-45 Girlschool

22:05 - 00:05 Saxon

Stage 2

12:50 - 13:30 Dead Man's Whiskey

13:50 - 14:35 Blind River

14:50 - 15:35 Renegade Twelve

15:55 - 16:40 Voodoo Blood

17:00 - 17:45 VA Rocks

18:00 - 18:45 Sinside

19:00 - 19:40 City of Thieves

20:00 - 20:45 Anchor Lane

21:00 - 21:45 The Dust Coda

22:00 - 23:00 Witchfynde

23:15 - 00:15 SNEW

00:30 - 01:30 Everyday Heroes

Day 2 awakes to find a change of weather. Yes, it's got a lot worse. Stormforce hurricane Blodwyn, or whatever the bleeding thing is called, has clearly purchased late tickets on StubHub. So we battle our way back to the stage areas for today's helping of sonic delights. Today's format sees two stages with 19 acts between them. Nestled between the two stages is a ski-bar allowing the punters to break the grueling 30 metre journey for liquid refreshment as well as a haven for the nicotinely challenged. A brief word of praise here for the staff who worked long hours in frankly horrible conditions. Service was always good and usually with a smile. Or grimace if Blodwyn was ordering.

Opening act on the smaller stage two are London 5 piece Dead Man's Whiskey who started the day with their excellent Doomy Blues Rock set. Despite everything, stage 2 was pretty chocka and were very appreciative of the boys act. Notable tracks included an unusual but enjoyable Rock cover of Seal's 'Kiss From A Rose' and a very poignant track dedicated to singer Nico Rogers mum. Great start to the day lads.

Openers on stage 1 are Epsom's Vambo. Having seen this 4 piece powerhouse perform on the tiny Orange stage at the Stone Free Festival, it was great to see them spread their wings across the expanse of the main stage. The small crowd arousing from the previous night’s revelries grew as did their appreciation of Vambo's 70's inspired Rock. Frontman Jack Stile cavorted around the stage like a madman, despite suffering from 'proper man flu' blasting out powerful lyrics on a set that included a cover of Zeppelin's 'Good Times Bad Times' as well as their last single 'Why, Why, Why' and next release 'Misery'. Which it wasn't. Drummer Steve Price and bassist James Scott keep the powerful groove going whilst axeman Pete Lance shows his awesome chops, not least of which on the closing cover of Deep Purple's 'Burn'.

The day was then spent yoyoing between the two stages, via the various bars, deciding which of the acts to choose from. Thunderstick are a 5 piece from London fronted by vocalist Vixen who changed outfits between every song. Everything from dominatrix to a teddy bear hugging girl whilst belting out Toyah Wilcox like vocals. The NWOBHM style band, who have been around since the early eighties, kept the now crowded stage 1 arena entertained with chugs and squeals. And that was not just the guitars. Not sure what the coffin was doing on stage. Maybe that was where Vixen kept her props.

Back on stage 2, Kim Jennett who fronted for Myke Gray yesterday, appears as her full time persona The Voodoo Woman fronting the excellent Voodoo Blood. Again her powerful vocals shone through the Heavy Rock Blues with a theatrical flourish and a kick in the cochlea. Crowd participation included Kim getting the crowd to all sit down and then jump to their feet. Less a jump and more a gradual creaking raising of the dead. The audience loved them.

Other notables include the almost Punk Blitzrieg, famous for their eponymous track covered by Metallica, who wowed the stage 1 faithful. VA Rocks, a three piece female trio from Sweden brought some young rocking fun to stage two and the Dan Reed Network brought much voiced praise from stage 1 visitors.

First of the headliners on stage 1 are veteran girl Rockers Girlschool, still performing an excellent hour plus set from 40 years of material. Opening with 'Demolition', the set included newer material like 'Come The Revolution' from their 'Guilty As Sin' album, 'The Hunter', 'Never Say Never' and 'Screaming' with classics like 'Hit And 'Run', 'Race With The Devil' and closing favourite 'Emergency'. As long term friends of Motorhead it came as no surprise that they paid tribute when they played 'Take It Like A Band' as a dedication to their friends. A fine set.

Headliners on stage 1 for the night are the mighty Saxon. No strangers to the HRH Festival, the lads who are celebrating their 40 years in the business next year, had collected a number of awards at the HRH awards ceremony and still managed to squeeze in a gig at Bath before returning to wow us with a 2 hour set of professional smooth arena Rock. Because Saxon are the epitome of a smooth professional and class act. The arena was packed with barely enough room to sweat. Opening with 'Thunderbolt', the band seamlessly wove their fabric of awesomeness. Then a setlist including 'Sacrifice', 'Nosferatu', classics like 'Motorcycle Man' and 'Strong Arm Of The Law', got the crowd jumping and pumping. They also paid tribute to Lemmy and co, who greatly supported them in their early years, by playing their Motorhead tribute track 'Rock And Roll'. The well received track resulted in a member of the crowd pitching his denim waistcoat, adorned with Motorhead patches, onto the stage. Frontman Biff picks it up, don's it over his trademark trenchcoat, and precedes to sing 'And The Bands Played On' and 'Crusader' adorned in it. A remarkable touch from Biff was the trouble he took to sign the waistcoat before returning it to the delighted owner. Class act. The tracks kept coming from the stalwart Yorkshireman including 'Wheels Of Steel' before closing with the anthemic 'Denim And Leather'. The closer included the ever joyful crowd participation with Biff and bassist Nibbs Carter both wearing crowd donated denims which were again signed and returned. A fantastic band that never fails to deliver and sound as fresh as ever despite their forthcoming anniversary.

As we left the arena, and accompanied Blodwyn back to our accommodation for a nightcap, and arrange baling precautions, we reflected on another fine day of music. HRH XII is doing mighty fine so far. Tomorrow has a lot to live up to. Now bugger off Blodwyn, you have outstayed your welcome.

Saxon setlist:



Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)

Motorcycle Man


Strong Arm of the Law

Battering Ram

Power and the Glory

Solid Ball of Rock

The Secret of Flight

Dallas ‪1 PM

They Played Rock and Roll

And the Bands Played On

747 (Strangers in the Night)

Sons of Odin


Princess of the Night


The Eagle Has Landed

Heavy Metal Thunder

Denim and Leather


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